Monday, October 18, 2004

Packers 38, Detroit 10. The 2004 Packers took the week off and let the 2003 Packers play this game. When RB Ahman Green is throwing a TD pass, everything is working. There are a few negatives for the game (K Ryan Longwell still can't kick a deep kickoff, CB Ahmad Carroll got turned around and abused in the first half, the defense only created one turnover) but everything else was working for the Packers.

First Quarter: Detroit gets the ball first and goes three and out. LBs Nick Barnett and Na'il Diggs made plays early, after spending the last couple of weeks MIA. The first TD drive was the first drive all season when all three running backs (Green, RB Tony Fisher and RB Najeh Davenport) contributed on a single drive, which happened all the time in 2003. Detroit answers with a TD drive to tie the score (the defense overpursued on a big screen to RB Artose Pinner and Carroll was abused by WR Az-Zahir Hakim). Detroit has spent a lot of high draft picks and big free agent money on their offensive line in recent seasons, but it hasn't shown any improvement. The Packers defensive line had been shoved around the last couple of weeks, but Detroit got little push against them. Packers 7, Detroit 7.

Second Quarter: Injury to WR Javon Walker. Walker has been far and away the highlight of the 2004 season, so his injury is a major concern. It looks like he just has sore ribs, which is bad enough but he probably will be able to play through it while it heals over the next few weeks. Touchdown pass to Fisher; when Davenport and Fisher are involved in the game, the Packers offense is rolling. After QB Joe Harrington threw a 11 yard pass to WR Tai Streets to get into field goal position, Detroit's offense was officially done for the afternoon. Longwell kicked a 50 yard field goal? P Bryan Barker had a 50+ punt in the game. The ball absolutely flies in Ford Field. Packers 17, Detroit 10.

Third Quarter: FS Darren Sharper has a gift interception and returns it for a touchdown. WR Roy Williams is the only offensive weapon for Detroit, he was injured for the game, and Harrington started pressing. Detroit's receivers never had seperation from the Packers coverage in the second half. Detroit only had 33 yards rushing for the game? Wow. Is WR Eddie Hammond a great kick returner? He's pretty good, but the Packers kick coverage was awful in the game, and not helped by short line drive kicks. Davenport has his first good game of the season as he runs over a tired Detroit defense. Packers 31, Detroit 10.

Fourth Quarter: Detroit is held to 3 plays and 5 yards in the fourth quarter. The Packers ran the ball for over 13 minutes in the quarter, with the occasional pass, and a trick pass by Green to WR Donald Driver? Why run this trick pass when you're up big? Aren't you just running up the score? Its probably better to run a trick play in a blowout just to give your future opponents something extra to think about instead of running it in a close game when something bad could happen. Packers 38, Detroit 10.

Is this a fluke one game improvement or a sign of better things to come? The Packers were bound to look better than they had in their last four games, so it was a game when everything went right but the Packers should continue to improve as the season continues. Now its time to get a win at Lambeau.

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